my go-to, biscuit recipe: adapted from food.com
(I always halve this recipe; full recipe below)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or half wheat flour!)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder (without aluminum)
1 tsp kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
1 cup cold buttermilk
PREPARE COLD BUTTER AND BUTTERMILK MIXTURE: Grate the butter with a cheese grater or cut the butter into small cubes. Place the butter in the freezer. Measure out the buttermilk mixture, and place it in the refrigerator as you prepare the dry ingredients.
DRY INGREDIENTS/BUTTER INTEGRATION: Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Add the grated/cubed butter into the dry ingredients and mix into the dry mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until the butter bits resemble small pebbles. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
ADDITION OF LIQUIDS: Next, add the cold, buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX! Make sure the mixture is not too dry or too wet. Adjust accordingly. The biscuit dough should be wet.
PAT IT OUT!: Turn the dough out onto a floured board or clear wrap/cling wrap. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1" thick (I fold the dough using the cling/clear wrap so that my warm hands do not directly touch the dough or warm the butter. I also prefer a thick dough to create more layers.). Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1" thick.
BISCUIT FORMATION: Use a round cutter to cut into rounds OR with a sharp knife, cut the dough into circles and/or squares! (For the leftover dough, I fold the dough together 2 more times and then cut them into squares with a dough cutter or a knife. Most recipes say the leftover dough does not yield great, aesthetic results, but even my leftover, square biscuits came out perfectly because I did not refold it too many times.)
COOKIE SHEET PREPARATION: Lightly brush the cookie sheet with butter, and place the biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you desire the sides of the biscuits to be soft, put them on the sheet touching each other. If you like"crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart.
PREHEAT OVEN: Place the cookie tray of biscuits in the freezer or refrigerator while the oven preheats to 450F/230C. This step will allow the butter in the dough to remain cold and to create a flaky biscuits with light layers.
BAKE AND ENJOY!: Once the oven is at temperature, bake the biscuits for about 10-12 minutes.
Items I used (minus grater) to make these biscuits may be found below; the OXO cheese grater is on my wishlist.